Saving women's lives and keeping families together in rural Zimbabwe

A pap test is commonplace for many Canadian women. In Zimbabwe, it’s the leading cause of death among women.
According to the World Health Organization, Zimbabwe is among the top five countries with the highest incidences of cervical cancer, with 61 of every 100,000 women being diagnosed annually. Pap smears are expensive and therefore not often available or used.
The Rotary Club of Whitby is pleased to donate $14,000 to the Karanda Mission Hospital in rural Zimbabwe to make a less expensive technique more widely available. Read on to find out how. 
Dr. Paul Thistle, a Canadian who has worked in Zimbabwe for the past three decades, is trying to save women’s lives and keep families together. As the director of the remote Karanda Mission Hospital, he is using a less expensive test to detect cancer in the cervix.
The test involves applying a small amount of dilute acetic acid to the cervix, which is harmless and painless, followed by inspection to determine whether a well demarcated area of white colour can be seen, which would be indicative of a pre-malignant or malignant abnormality. The technique is endorsed by the WHO and is already making a difference.
The Rotary Club of Whitby was fortunate to hear from Dr. Thistle during a recent trip back to Canada. We held a fundraiser in support of his work. Between donations from our club and the community, we are able to provide the Karanda Mission Hospital with more than $14,000. Thank you, Dr. Thistle, for your commitment to women’s health and thank you to everyone who attended and gave.